Khulumani Support Group, with its partners in the South African Coalition for Transitional Justice, meet at Unisa on 5 and 6 December 2012 to finalise a submission to Parliament for developing legislation to take forward the incomplete agenda on reparations for gross human rights violations
On Wednesday and Thursday, 5 and 6 December 2012, the South African Coalition for Transitional Justice will host a National Dialogue on Reparations, Dealing With Our Past & Building Our Future. This historic and long overdue national dialogue will be held at the Dr Mirriam Makeba Auditorium (Unisa Muckleneuk Campus, in Pretoria).
The national dialogue on reparations will bring together survivors and victims with policy makers, government officials, NGOs, religious leaders, concerned community members and some international experts. The national dialogue takes place at a critical point in South Africa’s post-apartheid path with the adoption of the National Development Plan 2030, which reminds all citizens that our progress towards eliminating poverty and reducing inequality needs to begin with effectively redressing the socio-economic injustices of the past so that every proud South African is enabled to participate in their own development and growth.
The South African Coalition for Transitional Justice comprises civil society organisations seeking to ensure that processes of truth, reconciliation and justice are respected and fully implemented in the South African post-apartheid context. The members of the coalition recognise the shortcomings of the TRC and remain committed to the recognition of the rights and needs of the survivors of South Africa's oppressive history during this reconciliation month.
South Africa’s transition from apartheid to democracy was facilitated by the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC),which was given life through the legislative provisions of the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act, 1995. Its purpose was to investigate politically motivated gross human rights violations perpetrated between 1960 and 1994 to prevent the re-occurrence of these atrocities and to contribute to unifying a divided country.
The objectives of the South African national dialogue on reparations will be to:
* Mark 10 years since the first National Civil Society dialogue on reparations, held in Randburg in August 2003, and to review progress and advances in keeping faith with the transitional agreements that were made towards restoring their legitimacy;
* To draw on lessons learnt since the South African TRC introduced its reparations recommendations from subsequent developments and advances in the region and the world; and
* To develop a discussion document to inform engagement in 2012 with the National Assembly and the National House of Provinces to prevent further delays in developing the necessary legislation to provide for inclusive and comprehensive reparations for all who meet the criteria of gross human rights violations in South Africa.
According to the South African Coalition for Transitional Justice, the “national dialogue will provide space to listen to the impact of non-delivery on reparations on survivors and victims and to develop a plan for an inclusive approach to reparations among critical role players and stakeholders, both in the state and in civil society".
The South African national dialogue on reparations aims at the following outcomes based on state commitment and responsibility to protect and promote human rights:
* Securing consensus on the need to revisit reparations as the tool for the social inclusion of survivors and victims of apartheid atrocities;
* Refining and adopting a framework and parameters for a parliamentary debate on revisiting reparations; and
* Developing a process to achieve advances in reparations for the gross human rights abuses of the past, informed by and compliant with international legal considerations on reparations.
For pre and post interviews, please contact the following spokespersons from SACTJ:
Khulumani Support Group: Marjorie Jobson (082) 268 0223 and Nomarussia Bonase (082) 751 9903
SACTJ Media Officer: Sipho Mantula (084) 781 5587
HRMC: Shirley Gunn (082) 450 9276
ICTJ: Howard Varney (071) 672 0122
Trauma Centre for Victims of Torture and Trauma: Valdi van Reenen-le Roux (082) 821 2692
CSVR: Hugo van der Merwe (082) 570 0744
SAHA: Catherine Kennedy (072) 682 6240
Issued by: South African Coalition for Transitional Justice (SACTJ)